Hen Harrier Day: 10th August 2014

Hen-Harrier-Day-2014cThe concept of Hen Harrier Day was inspired last year by Alan Tilmouth (you can read about it on his blog, here). And it was an inspired move – basically for conservationists to take back the so-called ‘Glorious 12th’ (the opening of the grouse- shooting season) and celebrate this beautiful bird that has virtually been ‘cleansed’ from the grouse moors of northern England (and most grouse moors in Scotland, too).

Last year, Hen Harrier Day was celebrated by hundreds of people using the #HenHarrier hash tag on Twitter and other social media. This year, the campaign is going to be even more visible with a series of planned public protests in the northern uplands.

The newly-formed campaign group Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC – of whom Alan Tilmouth is a founding member) has joined forces with Mark Avery to organise four legal, peaceful and media-friendly public protests in four counties where grouse-shooting is a dominant force: Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland.

The date for the protests has been set as Sunday 10th August 2014. This date was chosen in preference to the inglorious 12th (which falls on a Tues this year) to enable more people to attend.

According to Mark Avery, so far over 200 people have emailed to say they’d like to be involved. This is a fantastic opportunity to make a lot of noise about a subject that has received relatively little media attention in relation to the severity of the situation. The Hen Harrier has virtually been wiped out as a breeding species from England, and is in serious decline in large areas of Scotland (predominantly those areas used for driven grouse shooting).

Enough is enough and it’s time to fight back.

For further information, check out the Hen Harrier Day campaign on the BAWC website here and read today’s BAWC blog with some background info about the campaign here

To express an interest in taking part and to receive updates about the protests, please email Mark Avery: mark@markavery.info

9 thoughts on “Hen Harrier Day: 10th August 2014”

  1. My friends and I own land in Scotland, on which Hen Harriers have been nesting for over 30 years, as have Buzzards and Peregrines. We celebrate their presence every year.

    What has appalled us is the sheer inertia from the Police, SNH, Judiciary, the political hegemony and certain conservation groups, dealing effectively with the rampant slaying of our birds of prey, and any other creature that gets in the way of certain shooting estates. The position of Minister for the Environment produces a similar feeling, on receipt of bland assurances that something will be done, and nothing changes.

    It is obvious that who really runs the British countryside, is the blood sports old boy network with their connections in the Police, judicial decision-making and certain well-placed individuals in Government.

    Crime has many parts, however, there seems to have been, and it still continues to be so, that some of those parts do not have much Police attention being shown to it. When a perpetrator is caught who has been charged with a wildlife crime, the punishment is derisory. The Government cannot continue managing the UK with one part of it being like a medieval state in which blood sports dominate, and the other being progressive by demanding a more humane and conservation run countryside. There is a hope that there must be landowners, farmers, shooting estates and individuals, who agree with a more tolerant approach to birds of prey, will come forward and change the present ethos of “managing” the land.

    Meantime, there must be a more demanding policy by wildlife conservationists, political supporters and the various conservation charities, to continually harass those who can change the present situation by enforcing the law more effectively.

    Perhaps, I am just being naive that such cooperation will come about.

    1. Greer Hart..I salute you..thats the most eloquent description of the problem Ive seen to date..may your harriers fluorish!

  2. Could we not arrange one or two in Scotland? And anorther red kite one? Leadhills would be a good place to start. And what about Hopetoun House itself?! It would be good for public and police awareness raising but sadly the keepers (who know ALL about it already, of course) just laugh at these sorts of protests. They will only stop laughing when there is enough protest or sustained outcry that puts their activities at any threat. That’s why we must not let the red kite massacre fade away out of the news. It is not pleasant to put it this way but the massacre is the biggest weapon we have had for years to win any sort of battle against the crimes of keepers. If it fades away we’re all more or less back to square one, waiting on the next outrage.

      1. Firstly thankyou very much to the ever-excellent RPS for promoting Hen Harrier Day. I am a co-founder of Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) with Alan and others, and I just wanted to explain that the ONLY reason we hadn’t thought about trying to do something in Scotland is that we’re a small group (we only properly launched last month!) and don’t have any capacity to organise something outside the areas our team can cover by ourselves .there is huge experience and expertise in Scotland of course and we meant no insult by not attempting to include Scotland I assure you. If anyone would like to promote Hen Harrier Day in Scotland – and it needn’t be more complicated than organising a tweetstorm – we would of course lend any support that we can. As RPS so correctly says, no-one needs permission to do anything: we all want the same thing – to raise awareness of the crimes taking place that are eradicating Hen Harriers from the UK. Please do contact me on contact@birdersagainst.org if you’d like to suggest something (particularly if you think we could do it better!) and I or my colleagues will get back to you asap. Thanks.

  3. There is likely to be quite a good number of interested, impressionable folks around Hopetoun House – THIS weekend ! Oh yes, and the wee van from PAWS will be there too….

  4. Mr Greer-Hart, can I join Dave Dick in praising your comments. Succinct and oh, so accurate. Thank you on behalf of all sane and caring people

  5. Good idea! We should hold at least one in Scotland too…


    Saranne Bish
    Highland Council Countryside Ranger
    Badenoch & Strathspey North
    Development & Infrastructure Service
    Town House
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    PH26 3HF

    Tel: 01479 873 914
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    For upto date information on all Highland Council Countryside Ranger Events and the Long Distance Trails in the Highlands go to http://www.outdoorhighlands.co.uk or find us on Facebook
    [cid:image001.gif@01CF69E2.CEA774C0]Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Countryside Rangers

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